10 Las Vegas Raiders who have something to prove in 2020
CB Lamarcus Joyner
Lamarcus Joyner was the jewel of the Raiders’ 2019 free agent class, as he signed a four-year, $42 million to help resurrect a subpar defense. Joyner’s best seasons as a pro came as a safety in Wade Phillips’ defense, but he prefers playing slot corner, and the Raiders seem to agree.
Unfortunately for both parties, Joyner has not been as successful as the team hoped when they handed him that massive contract. He also dealt with a hamstring injury for the second half of the season which hampered his play and certainly contributed to those struggles.
To add to that, the Raiders had another merry go round at the safety position, and had to settle for signing guys like DJ Swearinger off the street to start games for them. Having unreliable safety help did Joyner no favors, and he also had to help make up for the team’s weakness at linebacker.
He was simply asked to do too much and could not deliver.
Joyner was reportedly a release candidate after 2019, as the team had an out after year one of his contract, but they opted to keep him for 2020 and have reiterated their faith in him as their number one slot CB. The Raiders can still choose to release him after 2020, and he will count for $3.75 million in dead cap over two years if they go that path.
So if Joyner wants to stay a Raider until 2022 he will need to play up to his contract and fend off a promising rookie in Amik Robertson who is gunning for his slot cornerback role.